Make Your Own Household Products

Making soap at home

tdub303/Getty Images

You can use home chemistry to make many of the everyday household products that you use. Making these products yourself can save you money and allow you to customize formulations to avoid toxic or irritating chemicals.

Hand Sanitizer

finger pumping hand sanitizer onto hand

Janine Lamontagne/Getty Images

Hand sanitizers protect you against germs, but some of the commercial hand sanitizers contain toxic chemicals that you may wish to avoid. It's extremely easy to make an effective and safe hand sanitizer yourself.

Natural Mosquito Repellent

Woman spraying mosquito repellent in face
Daniel Grill/Tetra Images/Getty Images

DEET is a highly effective mosquito repellent, but it's also toxic. If you'd like to avoid DEET-containing mosquito repellents, try making your own repellent using natural home chemicals.

Bubble Solution

blowing bubbles

Jim Corwin/Getty Images

Why spend the money on bubble solution when it's one of the simplest things to make yourself? You can involve kids in the project and explain how bubbles work.

Perfume

diy perfume

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

You can create a signature scent to give to someone special or to keep for yourself. Making your own perfume is another way to save cash since you can approximate some name-brand scents at fraction of the price.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

clogged drain

Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images

Save money by making your own drain cleaner to unclog stubborn drains.

Natural Toothpaste

Toothpaste
Mike Kemp/Getty Images

There may be situations in which you may wish to avoid fluoride in your toothpaste. You can make a natural toothpaste easily and inexpensively.

Bath Salts

Bath salts diy

Pascal Broze/Getty Images

Make bath salts any color and fragrance you choose to give as a gift or to use for a relaxing soak in the tub.

Soap

Homemade Soap

chizu/Getty Images

It's probably cheaper and definitely easier to buy soap than to make it yourself, but if you're interested in chemistry this is a good way to get acquainted with the saponification reaction.

Natural Insect Repellent

Mother applying bug repellent on son

Imgorthand/Getty Images

Unfortunately, mosquitoes aren't the only insect pests out there so you may need to broaden your defenses a bit. Learn about the effectiveness of different natural chemicals against a variety of insects.

Cut Flower Preservative

White cat smelling a bouquet of flowers

Melissa Ross/Getty Images

Keep your cut flowers fresh and beautiful. There are multiple recipes for flower food, but they are all effective and much less expensive than buying the product at the store or from a florist.

Silver Polishing Dip

Polishing silver

s-cphoto/Getty Images

The best part about this silver polish is that it removes tarnish from your silver without any scrubbing or rubbing. Simply mix together common household ingredients and let an electrochemical reaction remove the nasty discoloration from your valuables.

Shampoo

Soap and bottles of shampoo, conditioner
Jennifer Boggs/Amy Paliwoda/Getty Images

The advantage of making shampoo yourself is that you can avoid undesirable chemicals. Make the shampoo without any dyes or fragrances or customize them to create a signature product.

Baking Powder

Baking Powder
skhoward/E+/Getty Images

Baking powder is one of those cooking chemicals that you can make yourself. Once you understand the chemistry, it's also possible to substitute between baking powder and baking soda.

Biodiesel

jar of biodiesel fuel

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Got cooking oil? If so, you can make a clean-burning fuel for your vehicle. It's not complicated and it doesn't take long, so give it a try!

Recycled Paper

diy Paper

Katsumi Murouchi/Getty Images

This isn't something you're print your resume on (unless you are an artist), but recycled paper is fun to make and absolutely wonderful for homemade cards and other crafts. Each piece of paper you make will be unique.

Christmas Tree Food

Christmas tree surrounded by gifts

Village Production/Getty Images

Christmas tree food will help keep the needles on the tree and will keep it hydrated so that it's not a fire hazard. It costs so much to buy Christmas tree food that you'll likely be surprised it only takes pennies to make it yourself.